Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Getting There: Euclid Road bridge is still closed. But it’s reopening in September.

Residents of the West Plains north of Airway Heights still can’t get over the railroad tracks on Euclid Road after it closed in June 2019.

An end to the closure is in sight. The $3.6 million rebuild of a wooden bridge deemed structurally unsound four years ago is underway.

Government, transportation and military officials gathered at the span over the BNSF tracks near the confluence of Euclid and Lyons roads earlier this month to celebrate the beginning of a project intended to eliminate traffic headaches for area residents. Current detours send motorists on to gravel roads and can bump up commute times by half an hour, and the closure has disrupted school bus routes and emergency response.

The wooden bridge, rebuilt after an original structure burned in September 1979, will be remade with metal and concrete. The contractor, N.A. Degerstrom, will also build safer fencing to protect crossers from the busy train tracks below.

“It’s going to be safer, it’s going to be stronger, and it’s going to last a lot longer,” said Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter, Public Works information and outreach manager for Spokane County.

The project is being paid for with a combination of county funds and other sources. When the bridge is finished, BNSF will transfer ownership to Spokane County so that it can provide future maintenance on the span.

Spokane County Fire District 10 Chief Ken Johnson praised the bridge work in a news release earlier this month.

“Having a new bridge that is stronger than the current one is a relief for everyone who drives it, especially if you’re behind the wheel of a fire truck,” Johnson said. “While the detour was necessary, fire and other emergency responders will be happy to have a more direct and faster route.”

The bridge is expected to reopen in September. A specific opening date is not yet established, Wheatley-Billeter said.

Flaggers are needed during construction, as the rail line is still in use by BNSF, she said.

Work to watch for

Monroe Street between the bridge and Boone Avenue will be reduced to one lane north of the Spokane River starting Tuesday for stripping as part of a grind and overlay project.

City crews will be installing school safety lights this week at Northwest Boulevard and York Avenue near Audubon Elementary, and Francis Avenue and Cook Street near Arlington Elementary.

Knox Avenue near Wall and Howard streets will have lane closures beginning Saturday for a $1.5 million stormwater treatment project that involves replacing lines and installing treatment vaults.

Studded tires must be removed from Washington vehicles by Friday. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $137. The law applies to all drivers in the state, including visitors.